By Ahmet Abdulaziz…..
The friend of Northern Cyprus shares its Daily News of Life and Times around the world
By Mehmet Nesip Ogun, PhD………
Professor of Security studies at University of Mediterranean Karpasia, Northern Cyprus
The United States has been arming the People’s Protection Units (YPG) which was founded in 2011, which is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Turkey has long been trying to show American officials the connections and ties between PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and PYD. During the visits made both by Turkish and American officials to Turkey and the United States, the reality with evidence was reported.
Even during and after Turkish President Erdogan and the Turkish delegation’s visit to the United States on May 16, 2017, the Trump Administration didn’t step back from this decision. Nevertheless, the Trump Administration made promises on Turkey’s security and declared a long term strategic partnership on fighting against PKK and Daesh terrorist organisations. In this article, PYD’s relation to PKK will be analysed by presenting international reports and media news.
Even though the United States does not accept the fact that the PYD is a sub-group or connected to PKK, which is in the terrorist organisations list of Turkey, USA, European Union and so many countries, there are so many international reports, evidences, testimonies and realities that prove their connection.
When we first look into Koma Civaken Kurdistan (the so-called Kurdistan Communities Union, KCK) system, PYD is structured as the Syrian branch of KCK, along with PKK in Turkey, The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) in Iran and The Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PCDK) in Iraq. Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned PKK’s founder and leader, is the so-called supreme leader of KCK system. PKK and PYD use almost the same symbols and emblems. Even the armed wing of PKK, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) and PYD’s armed branch The People’s Protection Units (YPG) are nearly the same in meaning.
Independent think tanks such as Washington DC based the “Atlantic Council” and Brussels based the “International Crisis Group” have published reports that show the relations and connections between PKK and PYD. The Atlantic Council published an article entitled, “The YPG-PKK Connection”, on January 26, 2016. This report suggests that YPG casualty data confirms linkages between international PKK-linked groups. 49.24 percent of YPG casualty figures between January 2013 and January 2016 were citizens of the Republic of Turkey. Another article, entitled “America’s Marxist Allies against ISIS”, was published by The Wall Street Journal on July 2015. An interview with Zind Ruken who is a member of PKK, states that “Sometimes I’m a PKK, sometimes I’m a PJAK, sometimes I’m a YPG. It doesn’t really matter. They are all members of the PKK.”
The International Crisis Group’s Report No: 151, “Flight of Icarus? The PYD’s Precarious Rise in Syria”, suggests that the PKK’s Qandil leadership exerts authority over the YPG, whose leadership in the early days of the Syrian uprising was dominated by Syrian PKK fighters trained at that base. Another report of same group, No: 176, “The PKK’s Fateful Choice in Northern Syria”, states that the Syrian Kurdish party is ideologically linked to the PKK and its founder, Abdullah Ocalan.
There are various pictures showing PKK and PYD members taken in Qandil mountain (PKK’s base in Northern Iraq) and in Syria. High level PKK members such as Fehman Husain (aka Bahoz Erdal), Nureddin al-Muhammed (aka Sofi Nureddin), Asya Muhammad (aka Dilan Rihan Muhammed) and such operate in Syria under PYD.
Even during the testimony on April 28, 2017, former US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, admitted that the PYD and YPG has links with PKK, when asked by Senator Lindsey Graham.
PYD markets itself as a secular, democratic and very effective power against Daesh. However, PKK and PYD share Marxist Leninist ideology, and they have no interest in being secular or have the same values of the Democratic World. Their only aim is to oppress all other ethnic groups in the region including Kurds that don’t think like them, and create a de facto position for themselves.
The main consequences of the United States arming YPG will arise when YPG starts using these weapons against Turkey. Turkey will use every lawful right for self-defense in line with Turkey’s new security strategy. In addition, Turkey will never allow any security threats to come from PYD or YPG in its Southern border and will not accept any Kurdish cantons to be created by PYD.
By Mehmet Nesip Ogun………
Professor of Security studies at Columbia University, New York…….
Contrary to some false claims and vicious accusations made by some media channels and individuals, Turkey is very effectively countering the Daesh terrorist organization. Along with Daesh, Turkey is currently heavily under attack by other terrorist organizations as well such as FETO, PKK/PYD and DHKP-C. In this article, Turkey’s anti-Daesh strategy will be analyzed. In this respect, Turkey’s strategy on countering Daesh based on combating foreign terrorist fighters, is combating Daesh’s fund raising, supporting international anti-Daesh coalition, border security and security operations in Turkey and abroad including ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’.
Following terrorist leader Bagdadi’s claim of so-called Islamic State and Caliphate and invitation to join Daesh in Iraq and Syria, so many radicals were influenced and affected by this invitation. According to some statistics, more than 37.000 people joined to Daesh as foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). Turkey has co-chaired the presidency of Global Counter Terrorism Forum which is a multilateral counter-terrorism body comprising dozens of countries. Through this forum, Turkey has highlighted the threat of FTFs to the international community. As a result of these efforts, United Nations Security Council has defined FTFs as “individuals who travel to countries other than that of their residence or nationality in order to prepare, plan, or participate in terrorism, such as obtaining terrorist training in conflict zones”. As there is no internationally accepted terrorism definition, it is a big success to define FTFs in UN. Accordingly, No-entry lists of potential FTFs were established bilaterally with other countries as well as other lists through Interpol to stop flow of FTFs reaching to first point of entry to Turkey and entering to Syria and Iraq. In this regard, at least 4.000 foreigners were deported in the context of combating FTFs. Moreover, Turkey established risk analysis units at several borders, harbors and ports. Risk analysis units have checked almost 8.000 and interviewed more than 5.000 foreign nationals. Turkey did not allow almost 2.000 foreign nationals that were checked by the risk analysis units.
Turkey’s internal and external operations against Daesh, had a very big negative effect on the financial resources of the terrorist organization. According to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) report published in early 2017, Daesh’s important sources of revenue are taxes and fees, oil, looting, confiscations, and fines. Following Operation Euphrates Shield and recapturing Jarablus from Daesh, Daesh’s revenue worth 400 million dollars was cut in half. According to ICRS’s report; since 2014, Daesh’s annual revenue has been cut from more than up to 1.9 billion dollars in 2014 to a maximum of 870 million dollars in 2016.
As it is detailed in the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s web page, Turkey has been actively participating activities which specified to degrade the capabilities of, and ultimately defeat, Daesh since the formation of anti-Daesh coalition. Within this respect, Turkey has participated in the Coalition Campaign military planning, has allowed its airspace to be used by Coalition aircraft and has opened its facilities to Coalition partners and has actively been hosting the Train-Equip Program in Turkey.
In accordance with Turkey’s new security concept, Turkey has been carrying out its security operations in the context of preventive security measures. In this regard, most importantly, Turkey started “Operation Euphrates Shield” on August 24, 2016 and completed on March 29, 2017 with the participation of Free Syrian Army. The main goal of Turkey to carry out this operation was to ensure security of Turkey. Along with objectives of removing Daesh from Turkish borders and liberating Daesh controlled cities, it also aimed to block the corridor to be established by PKK/PYD terrorist organization through the line between Jarablus and Azaz. With this operation, more than 2.500 Daesh terrorists and more than 500 PKK/YPG terrorists were neutralized and Jarablus, al-Bap, al-Rai and Dabiq were cleaned from the terrorists. After the operation, thousands of Syrians went back to their homes and life went back to normal in the cleaned areas. In addition, Turkey has launched more than 7000 missiles on Daesh targets in North Mosul and destroyed 600 buildings and weapon pits and neutralized 750 Daesh terrorists.
Turkey has 911 kilometers land border with Syria and 331 kilometers with Iraq. Countering any illegal cross-border activities, Turkey carries out very effective measures. In this regard, Turkey enhanced security at the Turkey-Syria and Turkey-Iraq borders with additional personnel, patrols, and equipment. The number of Turkish border security forces was increased from 12,000 in 2014 to 20,000 in 2016 along the Syrian border. New air defense and reconnaissance units have been added to the battalions, including the active use of unmanned air vehicles which detect illegal crossing and smuggling activities. Furthermore, Turkey is establishing a “Syrian border physical security system” that includes construction of 192 kilometers of wall and 93 kilometers part of wall has already been completed. This project is expected to cost 81 million dollars.
In conclusion, Turkey is very active and effective against Daesh. Turkey is a very important and strong country in the region and the global world. Moreover, Turkey will continue to be a key player and continue to counter terror attacks and fight against all forms of terrorism with its strong economy, hard power, influential soft power, and growing defense industry.
NATO would take all steps necessary to defend alliance member Turkey if it were threatened by Islamic State fighters who have made gains in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Aug. 11.
“We are very much concerned about the activities of the so-called Islamic State, which is a bunch of terrorists, and it is of utmost importance to stop their advance,” Rasmussen told Reuters in an interview.
“If any of our allies, and in this case of course particularly Turkey, were to be threatened from any source of threat, we won’t hesitate to take all steps necessary to ensure effective defence of Turkey or any other ally,” he said.
NATO sent Patriot anti-missile batteries to Turkey last year to protect it from any spillover from the Syrian civil war but Rasmussen said Ankara had not asked the alliance for any further help following the Islamic State advance.
The alliance had held internal consultations, at Turkey’s request, “on the whole situation in the region”, he said.
The United States has begun a campaign of air strikes and humanitarian aid drops in northern Iraq but NATO was not considering any military action against Islamic State, Rasmussen said.
Source: Read the original article in Hürriyet Daily News and more by
Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (CTCC) and Turkey-Iraq International Investors’ Association (TIIIA) have decided to launch a work to develop the trade between TRNC-Iraq.
President of the CTCC Gunay Çerkez made a statement through CTCC Press Unit and gave information about the contacts that the chamber officials made in Mersin on 3-4th July as an invitee of Turkey-Iraq International Investors’ Association.
Gunay Çerkez had a meeting with the President of TIIIA, Feridun Gunduz. Cerkez stressed that there is a possibility to increase even more the export which is still being realized as approximately 15 million dollars to Iraq via Turkey and to develop co-investment co-operation.
Stating that an agreement has been reached between the Chamber and TIIIA with the participation of some chamber officials in North Iraq to form a Joint Commission to develop counter trade and co-investment, Çerkez stated that their aim is to increase the volume of trade to both Turkey and Iraq and the third World countries via Turkey.
Expressing that due to the international recognition of the chamber they have had contacts both in the TRNC and abroad with many international associations and realized common activities, Çerkez recorded that they are working to develop commercial and investment relations and co-operation. Correspondingly, Çerkez said that they are also working and conducting projects in order to improve the business and investment climate in the TRNC.
Near East University (NEU) signed a co-operation protocol with 16 universities of Kazakhstan.
The protocol was signed with Kazakh National Agrarian University, Kazakh Leading Academy of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Academy of Sport and Tourism, Almaty Humanitarian Technical University, Caspian Social University, Eurasian National University, Kazakh Humanitarian and Law Innovation University, Kokshetau State University, Semey State University, Semey State Medical University. The ceremony was held at the Faculty of Communication of the Near East University.
In his speech, the President of the Board of Trustees, Assistant Professor Doctor Irfan Suat Gunsel gave information about the infrastructure facilities, activities and awards of the Near East University and also expressed that the TRNC has brotherhood relations with Kazakhstan and this relation will be strengthened thanks to the protocol signed with Kazakhstan.
Gunsel also added that co-operation between the two countries will be transferred to the next generations with the protocols signed.
In his speech, Vice Chancellor of the Near East University Prof. Dr. Şenol Bektas mentioned that NEU, which reached to 16 faculties in its 25th.year, has taken 4 international awards in recent years. Bektas also stressed that the success of the university is the result of studying and planning.
The Boys Junior Basketball Team of the Near East University has experienced championship in the Vienna World Sports Festival 2013 held between the dates of 3-8 July 2013 in Vienna, capital of Austria, in which 9000 sportsmen from 31 countries participated.
According to the information issued from NEU Press and Public Relations Office Directorate, the Boys Junior Basketball Team of the NEU became champions after beating the teams of Austria, Hungary, Greece and Germany.
Source : TRNC Public Information Office
According to the statement made by the TRNC Prime Ministry, Erdoğan made the following statement in his message:
“I present my congratulations on behalf of my Nation, Government and myself on the occasion of the new government formed under your Presidency. The close co-operation between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey for the development of the TRNC will also continue during your government which will perform an important duty until the elections, to be held in July. I wish you success in your studies.”
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız evaluated the agenda and the energy sector.
Minister Yıldız made a statement on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and said: “As the tension between Israel and us is relieved, the way to energy projects will be opened. They are in the position of transferring the natural gas in an expensive or cheap way. I do not find the initiatives concerning LNG strange. But the investors in the area also know that the natural gas pipeline to be crossed from Turkey is the most feasible one. However the process which continues with compensations is not completed yet. But I believe that it will be completed”.
Stating that the pipeline crossing from Turkey will be for the benefit of Turkey, Israel and South Cyprus, Yıldız said: “If we say that this income is for the whole of Iraq, the same goes for Cyprus also. Turkey is always ready to approach positively, provided that the conditions we mention will be fulfilled.”
The 6th International Service Management Conference, organized with the participation of more than a hundred and fifty scientists from 30 countries has started in Girne. The conference will continue for two days.
The 6th International Service Management Conference organized jointly by Oxford Brookes University, Virginia Technical University, Macau University and the Institute of International Management and Technology from India is being held at the Acapulco Hotel in Girne.
The conference which is being chaired by the Oxford Brookes University’s Faculty of Business Lecturer Prof Dr. Levent Altınay, who is a Turkish Cypriot, will discuss cultural and socio-economic complexities of the growth of service organizations and tourism destinations and their responsibilities to different stakeholder groups.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office
By Chris Elliott
We can read many articles on the internet about the twists and turns in the progress or non progress of the Cyprus problem and it seems that no matter what proposals are made these, sooner or later it seems, are sided stepped by way of an excuse or counter proposal.
Now without doubt the the hottest potato in the Cyprus issue that no one seems to want to hold is the potential energy reserves that one community claims for itself without regard for the other community.
Now we read that Turkey is offering pipelines to Cyprus and we can only wait and see how the respective sides both local and international will huff and puff and just maybe we will see a sensible outcome this time.
To read more of this offer and the points of view, click on the link below to read the article on the Hurriyet Daily News